Preparing for joint replacement surgery can be overwhelming for many patients -they often feel inundated with the number of tasks that need to be completed.

Patient navigators, previously only used in cancer settings or with low-income patients with barriers to care, are now being employed in many areas of healthcare. A report by the Center for Health Affairs found “growing evidence that navigation can increase patient satisfaction, reduce no-show rates, increase revenue and provide economic development opportunities.”

The future of patient navigation

Nurses are dedicated to navigating patients through their procedures and across the episode of care, making sure patients are properly prepared for surgeries or treatments, and helping them be compliant with their discharge instructions and follow-up care to avoid preventable readmissions. They act as a single resource for patients to call when they have questions or concerns and they coordinate transitions between the doctor’s office and the hospital, as well as rehab and home care providers. Their job is a mix of patient educator, scheduler, and case manager.

Some leading institutions estimate patient-to-navigator ratios of between 250:1 to 400:1 depending on the care setting. However, ratios have limits. As patient volumes grow and loads increase, nurse coordinators are bound to become less efficient and effective. Highly-trained personnel are hard to find and resources are already constrained, so will there be enough navigators to go around?

Scale your patient navigation program with Wellbe

Wellbe’s solution allows your program to focus staff resources on the patients who need and would benefit from the hand-holding, while providing “light navigation” through technology to patients that can act as their own co-pilots on the journeys to better health.

Wellbe patient navigation tools include:

  • Patient Education
  • Surgery Preparation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Discharge Planning
  • Post-Op Follow Ups
  • Case Management

This interactive platform offers resources to patients within 24 hours of scheduling their surgery. We want to ensure that our patients know what to expect and to be an active participant in their care plan.

Dr. Scott D. Schoifet, Medical Director for Joint Replacement Services at Virtua Joint Replacement Institute


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Learn how one health system uses nurse navigation to guide their patients through the joint replacement journey.